Special Session Adjourns Without Raising Taxes
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana lawmakers wrapped up a special session to patch a projected $227 million budget deficit without increasing taxes.
Gov. Steve Bullock made $76.6 million in cuts while lawmakers and the administration recommended $94 million in transfers and other savings or income, including temporarily suspending payments into the state employee health care plan and the judge's retirement fund and auctioning new liquor licenses.
Part of the package includes temporarily charging a 3 percent management fee on Montana State Fund investments over $1 billion to raise nearly $30 million. Lawmakers also approved $15 million in state employee furloughs.
While the governor had recommended some temporary tax increases, Republicans passed legislation that essentially forces him to extend the contract for CoreCivic to manage a private prison in Shelby to access $30 million or make additional cuts.
The House adjourned just after 1 a.m. Thursday.